April 14, 2019
The No.1 Bootcamps Inspire you to Dream, Believe, Become
With in all honesty, I don’t even know where to begin. The thought of working out in heat, with a bunch of people I’d never met, in a country I’d never been to whilst no doubt keeling over with hunger, seemed pretty daunting to me. The night before, I filled myself up with a big bowl of pasta in preparation of ‘no carbs’ for the next seven days ahead and lay awake wondering what I had let myself in for!
Looking back at the week in Marrakesh I experienced with No1 Bootcamp, I want to thank them for one of the most incredible experiences of my life. From arriving to leaving, everything was seamless. The team, the other campers, the villa, the weather, the food, the training was nothing short of incredible.
Having been leaders in fitness since 2008, No1 Bootcamp goes by the ethos: Dream, Believe, Become. With years of experience running residential boot camps across Europe at some beautiful locations, has enabled No1 to an effective, fun and most importantly results driven modern group training programme, to support their clients whatever their needs and desires may be.
Something that worried me the most was how truly, truly, truly awful I am at running and that it would keep me at the back of the pack the entire week, as we run up and over the Atlas Mountains before a tiny slither of apple touches my mouth for breakfast. From this, I have learnt I am a true over thinker. Everyone has a story that brings them to bootcamp; Post partem, for a sporting event, to lose weight, for a better mind set, to be educated more about nutrition, the list goes on. Every camper there with me, was different in age, size, weight, height, ethnicity and fitness level, and I can assure you that no one felt at one time they were falling behind.
In total, there was 18 of us to 2 coaches. Andy, former marine and Gee, former military, both having been to Afghan and both having personal training qualifications. From the moment I walked in the villa, it was evident they had both been part of a valuable and family-like team from how they welcomed and made everyone feel. And that’s what we became that week, a family team. 18 of us may seem like quite a large number, but it was perfect. We laughed with each other, at times we almost cried with each other, we pushed and encouraged one another and we looked after one another, just like a family.
Shortly after arriving at the stunning villa we all called home for the week, we were asked one by one to go for our initial meetings with Gee and Andy. We completed medical forms prior to arrival and were then weighed on body matrix scales so we could see our water, fat and muscle levels and then had body measurements taken, whilst discussing the outcome we wanted from the week and why we were there.
Whilst we had free time around the villa and unpacked, we did a little exploring of what ‘home’ had to offer. The large glass dining room at the back of the property is where we would meet each morning and eat all of our meals together. There was also a large cosy, comfy seating area with a wooden fire that was lit each evening and perfect to read and relax by. On top of the dining room, was a huge open sun terrace, where several of our morning HIIT and boxing sessions took place, overlooking the breathtaking Atlas mountains. The pool, oh the pool! Surrounded by palm trees, large day beds and sun loungers, the pool is where most of us spent our free time, chatting and sunbathing before our next workout began. Everyone seemed to be in different sorts of accommodation. From beautiful shared white, modern bedrooms with their own bathroom to individual private tents in the grounds, with their own gravel courtyard, terrace and day bed, everyone was very comfortable and impressed by how beautifully they were decorated and looked after. The main area of the week, were ‘the cubes’. Three cubes, surrounded by palm trees where most of our training took place, to make sure we were shaded from the sun.
Our training began each day at 7am, which started by waking up our bodies with 30 minutes of mobility stretching before our first workout, to prepare us for the day ahead. Each exercise session was different. Throughout the week, we hiked through the fields behind the villa for up to 12km, we learnt how to box, we took High intensity interval training classes, we had team competitions, swimming and of course Yoga, to finish of a busy but incredible day.
Whilst I was very nervous about the amount of exercise we would be doing each day, I was worried about not being as fit as my other campers. What did I learn … Again, I’m an over thinker. If there was an exercise we couldn’t do, there were regressions – simpler versions of that exercise. If our bodies were a bit tired and the coaches could see this, they told us to rest. Unlike other bootcamps I had been to before, the staff really cared about physical and mental wellbeing and knew that this was also seen as a holiday for some people and so wanted to make it as enjoyable and fun as possible.
One thing we all had in our minds when we arrived was – We’re going to starve aren’t we. False. Hugely false. After our initial meetings, Andy and Gee discussed between them what portion size we should be on and what foods we would need, more or less depending on what we wanted to achieve. Every meal, each person’s portion was different. While the man next to me wanting to put on more muscle had a double portion of chicken, the lady opposite me had more rice as she burned a lot of energy through being a marathon runner. Each meal was specifically tailored to each person, which is something I don’t think any of us expected. Breakfast, my favourite meal of the day and never disappointed me. Porridge oats with peanut butter, nut butter and scrambled eggs with avocado and yoghurt with granola and berry compote, mouth-watering pancakes with strawberries and yoghurt drizzle were all served. Lunch and dinner consisted of exotic lemon and herb chicken and couscous, steak and salad, giant halloumi salads and burgers. That’s right, burgers. Between meals and workouts, delicious snacks were provided, such as rice cakes with salmon, egg and avocado, sugar free flapjacks and chocolate and banana protein shakes. Whilst we delved into each meal with gratitude and excitement, many campers said they were eating more at No1, than they usually did at home and how would they ever lose weight when there wasn’t one moment they felt hungry.
What did we learn? There’s a method behind the madness and we should always trust Gee and Andy.
Not only did I have an incredible week learning new workouts, exploring Marrakesh and the Medina on our last day, meeting and making new friends, but I also learned to be a little less fearless. Worry less and enjoy more. We are capable of so many things and that there is so much to learn and educate ourselves on. Seven short days away has completely changed my outlook on food and has taught me to nourish my body, the way it should be nourished. I learned to not beat myself up if I have an off day at the gym, and to simply try again the next day or go for a walk and stretch. We all came from different walks of life yet we all bonded over such an incredible life experience and had there have been a second week running at No1 in Marrakesh, I’d have stayed in a heartbeat.
Throughout the year, No1 Bootcamp operates 50 weeks a year at their Norfolk retreat, along with various week long stints at their Marrakesh, Ibiza and Portugal camps due to high temperatures.
If you’re seeking a boost, a new mind set, friends, workouts, confidence and education in nutrition, check out No1 Bootcamp for an experience of a lifetime. Maximum results in minimum time.
Written by Amber Lauren for Luxuria Lifestyle International